tv Oral Histories CSPAN September 11, 2016 1:59pm-2:51pm EDT
i do to honor my friend in my fallen comrades in those things we value. thomas,dmiral david thank you very much. >> you are watching american history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter for information on her schedule and he keep up with the latest history news. sees him or 11, 2001 through the stories of americans who were at the white house, the u.s. capitol, the pentagon, and in the skies over washington, d.c. former senator majority leader was among the congressional leaders evacuated by helicopter
to an undisclosed location. he recounts his experiences that day, from his aerial view of the pentagon to his description of the secret location for congressional leaders regrouped and determine how to respond to the terrorist attacks against united states. take us back to the morning of september 11, 2001. how did your day again? sen. daschle: steve, my day began by my normal preparation for what we were going to hold a routine leadership meeting, every tuesday we would do that. i came in early and john glenn, a dear friend, came by. he was going to get, he was actually going to do an interview and had a little time, so he came by for a cup of coffee. we were sitting in my office that morning when we had the television on and watched a plane fly into the first tower of the trade center and i
remember very clearly john's reaction. i said, did you see that? a pilot just flew into the world trade center. >> he said pilots don't fly into buildings that wasn't a pilot. and that's how it started. we went then to a leadership meeting. shortly after that, thinking that it had to have been an accident, we turned on the monitors. we were going to begin our preparation for the day's activities and work, and then began to watch the scene unfold . and i remember at one point, senator patty murray, who was sitting at the table, looked out and saw smoke billowing and she ran over to the window and she said, my god, there's smoke coming from the pentagon. so we all jumped to our feet and went over to the window to watch what little we could see from the window. and there began the chaos. steve: let me go back to the
moment where the second plane hit the second tower. you're in a conference room meeting with your colleagues at this senate leadership meeting. do you remember the faces of your colleagues? do you remember what you thought? sen. daschle: well, it was interesting. usually, when we had our meeting, there was a good deal of casual conversation. but what struck me was that i wasn't getting the attention of anybody in the room. they were all watching the monitor, glued to the monitor and i was virtually talking to an empty chamber in terms of my capacity to get their attention. everybody was completely consumed already by what was going on. steve: and looking back, can you imagine having that meeting in light of everything that happened that morning? sen. daschle: no. obviously, the meeting didn't last but a few minutes because right at the time all this was happening, a capitol policeman broke in. he said, we're getting out of here. i need everybody to come right
now and there was a mad scramble literally running out of the , capitol building. staff.oung i even saw senator byrd carrying a couple of books and having some difficulty walking quickly, but none the less, evacuating as we were all attempting to leave the building. not really sure where all this was going to lead. steve: we back to the moment where you saw the smoke coming from the pentagon across the mall. you're in this meeting room. do you remember what your fellow senators said? with their expressions said to you? sen. daschle: well, it was a sense of disbelief and a sense of real concern that there had to have been a connection between what we were seeing there and what we had just seen on tv, but what was the connection and how was this all
understood. i think there was tremendous confusion. a high, high degree of anxiety. a very palpable fear that something unusual in the extreme was going on. steve: and when you heard that a plane was heading for the capitol, what did you think? sen. daschle: at that point, we all -- i think the first thing most of us felt the need to do is to think of our own personal safety and that was in part what led for the mad scramble out of the building. the odd thing was that we had no clue as to where we ought to go and i remember the -- just like you'd see in the movies, with the suv i was in spinning its wheels and screeching out of the capitol, tearing out of the
capitol grounds. and hearing my detail, i had a security detail at the time, instructing us to drive around until further orders could be established. it wasn't long after we literally drove with no appreciation of where we were going to the capitol police building. we were taken to the top floor of the capitol police building, which is very near the capitol campus. and taken to the 4th floor and they pulled the shades down, which i always thought was an odd thing to do. and then of course, our first, most immediate concern was to try to connect with our family. the cell phones weren't working, so we all stood in this rather lengthy line, all the leaders were taken there. house and senate, republican and democratic.
i can recall feeling almost like a refugee. standing in line waiting to get my turn to use the land line to call my wife. steve: when you're in that room, who else was with you? sen. daschle: well, it was just leadership, so i know that senator lott was there. senator nicholls, senator reid on the senate side. and then i don't recall specifically each of the house members. speaker hastert was there and dick gephardt and some of the other house leaders as well. steve: do you remember at that point what you were thinking? sen. daschle: again, there was a tremendous amount of confusion. we didn't know what to think. we didn't know who was behind this. how orchestrated. what came next. how much more damage was done. we were all trying to get as much information from limited media sources as we could.
i was notified and i can't recall how i was told this, but i was notified that the local police department in my hometown of aberdeen, south dakota, picked up my mother and took her to the police station. of course, my mother at that time was in her late 70's and was completely confused, i'm told, by the circumstances, but was taken as a precautionary measure. so all of these inexplicable matters, i couldn't get through to my wife. my wife was actually at the american airlines building at the time because she works with american and i had trouble connecting with her for some time. steve: from the moment that you left the capitol, you made this route around washington, d.c., ended up at the police office, police headquarters. do you remember what you saw?
what the city looked like, what the streets of washington, d.c. looked like? at that time it was quite an amazing sight. people were coming out of their buildings. i recall, of course, there was this mass exodus from the capitol building. a huge crowd that had gathered pretty much on the south lawn, but i remember people seeing people come out of the other buildings in the capitol complex as well. i think the conventional wisdom was that one was safer outside than inside, so that's what you saw. a lot of people mulling around outside their buildings, looking up, obviously very confused. but it was total chaos. steve: did you ever see the capitol evacuated like that before? sen. daschle: never before. we had a couple of occasions after that that were similar in moments of anxiety and
extraordinary concern about safety, but that was the first time i think it's ever happened. steve: you're also the leader of the senate, so what role and responsibility did you have to make sure your staff, the senate staff, left the capitol grounds and how were you involved in all of that? sen. daschle: all i could do was to tell my chief of staff and those at the senior staff level who were in the capitol at the time with me that we needed to evacuate as quickly as possible. that they should insist that everybody leave as quickly as they could. i had no other information upon which to base my strong encouragement to my staff other than this is the time to follow orders. we are all following what minimally provided guidance
there was. nobody knew what was happening or how to react. steve: as a leader in the senate, were you prepared for this? sen. daschle: no steve: was there any preparation before 9/11? sen. daschle: none whatsoever. i don't recall ever even having a fire drill in the capitol building. my memory certainly has faded, so it could have happened, but i don't recall that it ever did. steve: so you're at the capitol police headquarters. it's now late morning? sen. daschle: late morning steve: do you remember where you were when you saw the towers fall? sen. daschle: we were in the -- i think in the late morning, the towers still hadn't fallen. we were in the capitol building and there was a good deal of discussion about three things. one, our current circumstances, what this may involve and what to do.
secondly, was there a need for us to make some sort of a reactive statement so that we could at least give the impression that we were providing some leadership here. and then the third was where do we go from here? what do we do? what should we decide with regard to location? there was discussion of going to the secret undisclosed location, some suggested going to andrews. some of his suggested maybe we should disperse and not concentrate all leadership in one location regardless. so there was a great difference of opinion. it wasn't an argument necessarily, but these were all suggestions that had merit. and ultimately, we decided to disperse. that it would probably be the safest thing to do. so from there, i went to an off
campus sight of a consultant of ours and stayed there for a little while. watching developments, again on the screen, but i was with a few leadershipn terms of by myself. ,steve: the government does have facilities to house members of the house and senate. i wonder what they look look, what sense you had. sen. daschle: it's interesting. first, to note how you get there. i was called probably an hour after i arrived at the consultant's office and was told that the decision had been made to evacuate to this undisclosed location and that i was to report to the west lawn of the capitol as quickly as i could and that i could bring one staff person, so i did that.
and laura petrue, one of my senior staff, came with me. we got to the west lawn and there was a circle of swat team members surrounding a helicopter and of course, the helicopter's blades were whirring and we ran to the helicopter, got inside. the headphones were put on and as we were lifting off, we could hear that the pilot was getting a communication, asking how many were on board and whether we could swing by andrews air force base to pick up senator lott and his staff, so we did that. we flew out to andrews first and then flew right versely over the pentagon as we were evacuating the city. steve: what time was that? sen. daschle: this was, by then, i would say around noon early afternoon. steve: and how did the city
look? sen. daschle: the city looked somewhat normal from the air, with one major exception and that is of course, the pentagon. there you saw a plane -- we saw half of an airplane and with countless fire trucks and thousands of people standing around on the outside with all kinds of smoke billowing out. steve: when did you first speak to president bush or vice president cheney? sen. daschle: we got to the undisclosed location and it's a very stark place. with rooms that are very nondescript. if i recall there were white walls, very basic chairs and tables. we were then taken into the communications center where there were a number of television monitors and other
communications equipment. and it was shortly after that we were put on a speakerphone with the president. i think the president first, then the vice president second. to talk about circumstances. steve: what did they say? what did you say? sen. daschle: basically, they recounted their own experiences, where they were, what they knew from intelligence briefings they had been given. what their intentions were as they were continuing their analysis and evaluation of what had happened. what we told them is that we stood ready to work closely with them to develop a reaction plan. and that we were planning to consult more closely with more of our colleagues.
who somewhat ironically had gatherered at the capitol police building after we evacuated and chose that as the meeting place to the extent that it had the capacity to hold numbers of people. but we began speaking to them in the afternoon. if i recall, they were all together. they were house, senate, democratic, republican members all gathered somewhat together talking about circumstances and what we might do. steve: i realize i keep going back to this point, but you're on this helicopter, flying to andrews or for space. at that point, what were you thinking? well, i was, at that point, we became a little more confident that the circumstances were becoming clearer.
we, up until then, because of the chaos, because of the extraordinary degree of uncertainty about just about every aspect of what we were experiencing, there was so little opportunity to appraise our circumstances with any confidence that we knew what was going on, but the pieces were starting to come together by then and we all gained a greater appreciation i think of the challenges that we were faced with. the best analysis we could find coming up with a plan to deal , with those circumstances as we had analyzed them, and then probably more profoundly, what to do with the amazing loss of life that was already being reported. steve: when you were in the sky, you were one of the few aircrafts in the sky over
washington, d.c. in this helicopter. did you see any fighter jets? did you see any other activity? sen. daschle: we heard a lot of fighter jets. i don't know that i actually saw them, but they were -- they were deployed quickly and i -- my, i don't recall whether i physically saw them, but you could certainly hear them. steve: how often were you during the course of the afternoon, in touch with the white house? sen. daschle: we were in touch frequently. i want to say, when you say the white house, either the president, the vice president or white house officials, i would say at least every hour. steve: and what were they telling you? sen. daschle: they were telling us what they knew. one of the first things they had decided and i think appropriately so, was to ground all aircraft. unfortunately, a lot of aircraft had no place to go, so even though they intentionally grounded every aircraft in the
sky, they couldn't get that result for several hours. but that was one of the first things. we heard of course also about the terrible tragedy in pennsylvania. and the circstances there. we were getting more of the details with regard to each one of these specific incidents, but they were all forming a picture that was horrific and very anxious-ridden. steve: when did you finally reach your wife, linda? sen. daschle: i finally was able to get through to her mid-morning. i think i finally reached her, or perhaps she reached me, but we connected late morning. she shared with me what had happened from the american perspective, what they were doing.
and so we compared notes and then made the decision to call the rest of our family immediately. steve: what was your sense from that phone conversation? did she give you a sense of nervousness? what was your state of mind at that point? sen. daschle: i think many people have the same reaction. when you go through this. you don't have time to be too consumed about your own personal circumstances as much you want to be concerned about the safety of others. your family initially. my children, my mother. my staff. and so it was really an effort to first to attain some better understanding of what they had experienced and then secondly, to reassure them to the extent you can that we're going to get on top of this.
maybe it's genetic, but there's something intuitive about wanting to be more concerned about family than yourself. steve: were senators calling you? were they asking questions? were you a point person to try to feed information to your colleagues? sen. daschle: i think each leader was. there was almost a recognition that we had a responsibility in that regard to share what we knew, but the problem was that everybody was so dispersed. there really wasn't much of an opportunity to share much at all. when they began gathering finally at the capitol police building, we were able at least to get the word out to some and then of course, communications were, in some cases, nonexistent. you couldn't connect. you couldn't use a cell phone for a while. it had to have been such an overload that it was very, very difficult to find ways to be
able to communicate. steve: what was happening with your own security detail? do you remember what they were carrying? what they were telling you? what their state of mind was as somebody who's job was to protect the leader of the senate? sen. daschle: they were obviously in a very intense circumstance. they weren't in the room with us. they were waiting outside. they knew nothing more than -- in fact, we probably knew more than they did at that point. only because we were talking directly to the president who was getting briefed from people who could provide him with their best analysis. but there was constant information sharing and an effort to try to offer whatever insights we could about what was going on regardless of what role they might have had. whether it was the security
detail or the capitol police or staff or family or white house, we were all in information sharing mode. - times 10. steve: were you at your consultant's office? where did you spend most of the afternoon? sen. daschle: we spent most of the afternoon in a secret, disclosed location. steve: the two towers go down, the plane in shanksville, pennsylvania, killing everyone on board, the pentagon was hit. at that point, planes were grounded. was every moment in the afternoon where you had a sense that at least things were under control under the circumstances? sen. daschle: we felt increasingly confident that they were, if not under control, at least that we had reached a pause in terms of further violence and further damage for the chaos. i think there was a lot of concern about whether there was going to be a second wave. we didn't know. no one could tell us anything.
even though it may not have come from an airplane, could it come from something else. a missile. whatever. and so, there was a lot of concern. about how quickly we could be assured that whatever happened, it had exhausted its initial phase. and that led immediately to discussions in the afternoon about how quickly we could go back and whether they were safe and the country's interest for us to speak to the country and to do finally open up the capital the next day. we saw it not only a symbolic, but critical in terms of the psyche and statement we wanted thesee about not allowing
forces to shut the government down. we consulted with all of our colleagues in the capitol building who had assembled about the propriety of coming back and perhaps speaking from the capitol steps and that's ultimately what we decided to do. the security advice we got was that it would not be a good idea. they didn't know enough, but we decided to take the risk to the extent we knew there was one. if there was one. and gather on the capitol steps to say to the country and the world that we're going to be back in business the next day. steve: what was your conversation like with the speaker because both you and the
speaker issued those statements in front of the cameras. how did that all come about? sen. daschle: it was decided early on that the fewer the speeches, the better. that the leader of the senate and the leader of the house probably be the only two people to speak with as many members as could be assembled. -- assembled around us. we didn't know if that was going to be half a dozen, a handful. turned out there was a pretty good number of people. who got word we were going to do this on the center steps of the capitol facing a east front and speaker and i decided to be brief, blonde and is defined as we could. and so, we found ourselves with a much larger group than we had anticipated and gave our speeches. steve: you left the capitol late
morning, he came back early evening. can you contrast the two what you saw in washington and what sense you had from morning and until late afternoon? sen. daschle: it was such a striking day of contrasts. it was one of the most beautiful days of the year, the sun was shining. there is a soft amber light in the early morning as well as the latter part of the afternoon. and yet, with that soft , light -- light was chaos all around. smoke still billowing from the pentagon. fire trucks, jets above. now flying with greater and greater frequency. chaos with tanks and all kinds of military equipment in the streets by the time we got back. just an amazing transformation of what started as one of the
most tranquil and beautiful days of the year that morning. it was also abundantly clear that in spite of the partisanship we had experienced in -- at that point, it seemed unprecedented levels, given the very, very controversial supreme court decision about the presidential election and the divide that occurred in the senate, 50-50, 50 democrats and 50 republicans. in spite of all the devisiveness, this was probably as united as the country had ever been. democrats and republicans holding hands, singing "god bless america." embracing, crying, expressing emotions in the most personal
and profound way. a real sense that we were all in this together. in a spiritual, emotional, physical and political way that had never been experienced before. so the study in contrast, calm, beautiful day to violence, partisanship to unity. that to me was what was really striking. steve: you're back at the capitol early evening with the speaker of the house. do you remember what you were thinking as you walked to that microphone and what did you say? sen. daschle: i think we both had the same desire desire, which was to reflect three things. first of all, that our country was united. that truly we were one. two, that, defiantly, we were not going to allow any force to
shut the government down. that we were going to demonstrate that democracy had survived even though some of our buildings had not. and that we were going to put a three, plan together to respond in a more concrete and comprehensive way and that we would have more to say about the specific plans. steve: at this point, the president is back in washington he's about ready to deliver a speech to the nation. did you watch it? sen. daschle: we did. i thought it was a very articulated the right message. he basically shared what he knew and that like us, wanted to leadershipense of a
obviously a profound level of sympathy as well for all of the victims. yet howot know problematic the loss of life would be but we knew enough to know thousands of people had died in that expression of beenthy to those who had tragically affected had our sympathy. host: when you remember that --ent, >> i do not think anyone really knows how it started. after the two speeches, there
was a moment of silence, no one leave.wanted to need -- sing the songd to and it did not take long before everyone began to sing along. usefulprobably the most part of the entire experience, totally unplanned and spontaneous. thanbly more powerful whatever the speaker and i said. do you remember what you , many of themes your friend? profoundhle: it was a anxiety. i do not recall seeing --
hearing a sound the entire evening. it was really facial expressions that were somber, very, very grave. extremely anxious. shared storied about how each of us spent our day. what we knew. reports often repeated about the loss of life in new york in particular and at the pentagon. recounts of other aspects of the tragedy that piece by piece were coming together. everybody had a little detail that in some way, collectively gave us a far better picture of the circumstances once we had collected. where did you go next? -- steve: where did you go next? were you back in your office?
sen. daschle: i went to the office a while. talk today a few of my senior staff that had also collected, congregated, and then i remember going home. my wife had indicated that it had taken hours to get home because the streets were so congest congested. but i found again, striking contrast by the time i left, the streets were totally deserted. there was nobody. so, it was a much easier experience for me getting back, but it was lined with tanks and trucks and armed vehicles of various kinds. steve: and where was your home at the time in relation to the capitol? sen. daschle: my home was in northwest washington, up by american university. steve: so, as you walked in the door, you saw your wife. what did you think? what did you say? sen. daschle: well, we embraced for a long time. and, and i don't think any words had to be exchanged.
and we didn't change many for a moment. we then collected our thoughts, talked about our day, our family, what we know of our circumstances and what i had just experienced on the steps of the capitol. steve: did you watch the news that evening? did you talk to fellow leaders? i did. walk us through that night. sen. daschle: well, we spent a good deal of time on the telephone talking as we had most of the day, with members who were very curious about what was going to happen. what we were going to convene the next day and what the circumstances were.
i talked to my family. we had all the television sets on in the house i think and as we moved around the house, stopped to watch further news of the day and recaps of what happened. i don't think i talked to the president that night again, but i know i talked to somebody in the white house. i don't think it was the president. but it was somebody there as well. steve: you talked about the day of contrast when it began with john glenn and as the events unfolded, but is there something in particular about that day that you will always remember? sen. daschle: oh, goodness. i, when you're maybe as old as i am or maybe experienced as many things as i have, it all gets blurred together, but that day feels as if it happens just a few months ago. i still remember it so vifldly. i think that notion, that i can
remember that with the vivid sense of each aspect of the day in ways that i can't remember the blur of my life in many other respects, the probably as unique for me as anything about that particular day. the horrific nature of the loss of life and the defiant nature of democrats and republicans. speaking as one. uncertain and anxiety about the level of security that we had, or that we were not sure we had it all at the end of that day. that struck me as some of the most important aspect of that experience. steve: do you remember when you went to bed? at what time? sen. daschle: i don't.
it was late. very late. and i was very weary, but i don't recall. i can't, i know it was well after midnight. steve: and then the next day, congress convened. what time did you get to the capitol? how did that all unfold? sen. daschle: i got to the capitol pretty early because i needed to make sure we knew what we were going to do and how. we hadn't locked in many of the details. the speaker and i along with the other leadership wanted to be sure we opened early and that we started business as usual. we took up the legislation. i don't recall what bills were pending, but we were opening up to morning business for people to express themselves.
morning business in the senate is a feature of every day, generally, that allows members and opportunity to be recognized to speak and there was a long, long line of people waiting to be recognized. steve: what was the september 12 america like for you? and how did we change as a nation? sen. daschle: well, i look back on september 12 as in some ways, the best and the worst of our country. the best part was how resilient our country can be in the face of tragedies of this magnitude. the worse had to do with the vulnerability and loss of so many lives and the knowledge that there was agony and so much pain. that couldn't probably by articulated or understood that that short period of time. i look at how we responded and i guess i would say we responded
well intended. i think that it was interesting how quickly and certain requests and an agenda this began to address the problem. relief for new york. find ways to improve security. in that time, the country remained united. perhaps not with the degree of scrutiny and degree of care and attention we should have given. we passed legislation very well intended that i look back at now, maybe as moving a little bit too fast, but we did what we thought was the right thing to do. steve: when did you go to the
pentagon and have you been to shanksville, pennsylvania? sen. daschle: i hadn't been to shanksville, pennsylvania. we went to the pentagon, i don't recall the specific amount of time. mayor giuliani met us. we went to the shift, which was relief headquarters. we talked to all of those courageous heroes working on the site who later would found out would peril to their own lives and help. we went to the pentagon shortly. i think we were at the pentagon the very next day, but we did as much on site review and made the effort and the most sincere and heartfelt way to express sympathy. steve: 10 years later, how do you reflect on what this country and what the world went through?
sen. daschle: first, i think it was transformational moment. transformation in profound ways and small ways. i think it probably led us to two wars and to a change in how we conduct our lives. to how we get on airplanes, how we communicate and the level of scrutiny. probably changed the perception of the united states around the world. initially, i think there was tremendous sympathy for the united states. i think in part because of actions that we chose to take including go to war. a lot of that sympathy dissipated.
i think there is a profound admiration and respect for all of those people who put their lives on the line for the rescue operation that certain lyly was evident from the very first day. i have respect for and gratitude for the way congressional leadership responded. it's interesting. today, we talk about polling numbers and congress having perhaps the lowest approval ratings at any time in history. something in the teens, i recall. i recall somebody coming to us weeks after 9/11 and telling me it was the highest approval rating. it was in the high 80's, that congress had an approval rating we had never seen before. so we had come a long way from
the high 80's to mid teens in terms of approval. that says something about the degree of dissension and dissatisfaction that has once again entered the political discourse in this country. steve: did it change you as a person and how you viewed the world? sen. daschle: i think it would be impossible not to aappreciate that the change has occurred in all of us the way we look at the world. how we feel about the way we address things. it was just a month after that that my office was the target of an attack with anthrax, and so, we got sort of a second, a second experience that profoundly affected me and my staff. but yes, weshl deeply affected by this. and with the anthrax scare, more questions than answers? and with the anthrax scare, more questions than answers? sen. daschle: far more.
even today, we don't have nearly as many answers that we could had. i am fairly confident that the fbi has come to the right conclusions about the perpetrator and circumstances, but there is still a lot of lingers doubt. steve: at that time, did you think this was a direct connection? sen. daschle: i did. there was of course, it was orchestrated in some ways to make it look as though there was a direct connection, but certainly, that was our initial conclusion. steve: did you ever have a chance to talk to your staff about september 11? certainly, that was our initial what did they tell you? what did you ask or tell them? sen. daschle: i think we all found some collective solace in talking about it. we had a hard time getting our arms around day and what it meant and how we were affected, but we also i think took some pride in the responsibleties that we had and how we conducted them.
i think my staff did a phenomenal job and again, it was a belief that has was so often expressed at the time. we were all americans and we were all trying to figure out the best way to address this incredible tragedy and challenge in a way that would give this country belief in its government and i think to the best extent possible, we tried to do that. steve: if the public wants to tour the capitol, they go to the visitor center. is that a direct result of september 11? sen. daschle: no, actually that was something that many of us who were involved in leadership early in the '90's, felt we
needed in part because we felt the experience for an american in the capitol was less than what it should have been. people had to wait outside in long lines and sometimes, hundred degree temperatures or rainstormsthere was really no collective way to understand the capitol. and then it was compounded by the realization that not only was it a great tourist experience, it was not a great security experience. that we could do more to provide better security in the capitol than we were. and it was the shooting of two our heroic policemen that finally was the ultimate factor i think in causing us to move forward, so the plans had already begun with regard to the capital visitors center and rightly so. steve: did 9/11 and later
anthrax, change the capitol? sen. daschle: it did. it did. in many ways. the mail is is no longer opened in the capitol. i had a wonderful intern, who has become quite a successful young woman in her own right, who was a college intern who was exposed along with 20 others in the room. four who were not my staff, 24 who were. and of course, their lives immediately were in but i'm proud and very, very grateful to be able to say that they all are healthy americans today. but, so, the way we open mail, the way mail is opened, i should say, in the capitol today, is vastly different than it was at the time. steve: how will you commemorate the events of september 11? where will you be this year? sen. daschle: we haven't really yet made that final decision.
it's such a moment, a personal moment for us. we've given thought to a number of different options and haven't quite made up our minds yet. steve: in a quiet moment, did you ever have a chance to talk to president bush or vice president cheney about what they experienced and what you experienced? sen. daschle: we did. we did. not as much with the vice president as with president bush. we talked about it on a few occasions. and he shared his own personal observations and what he was thinking. and how we endured the day in some ways together. steve: senator tom daschle, thank you very much. sen. daschle: my pleasure. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] americane watching history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news.
>> c-span remember september 11, 2001, through the stories of americans at the white house, the u.s. capitol, the pentagon, and above d.c. stated his position in the evacuated white house to see to the needs of the president and his staff, recalls the events of 1600 pennsylvania avenue after terrorists crashed planes into the world trade center towers in new york and the pentagon. steve: gary walters, a 37 year veteran of serving presidents. what was your job? gary walters: i was initially a uniform officer for the secret